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Federal government promoting healthy relationships for life.



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Ross Cameron MP

Parliamentary Secretary for Family and Community Services

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Federal Government promoting healthy relationships for life 17 June 2002

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Family and Community Services, Ross Cameron, today launched a new community awareness initiative to help Australians achieve strong, healthy and lasting relationships.

Opening the International Commission on Couple and Family Relations Conference in Sydney, (Monday 17 June 2002 at 4.30pm at All Seasons Premier Menzies Hotel, 14 Carrington Street, Sydney).

Mr Cameron said that many Australians weren't aware that they could learn new skills that would help them strengthen their relationships.

"The majority of Australians rate a happy relationship as one of their main goals in life, yet the unfortunate reality is that around one third of marriages in Australia end in divorce.

"Communication problems are one of the major causes of relationship breakdown, yet some people simply don't seek help. Many couples wrongly assume that relationship education is only for when they are having problems.

"Relationship instability is one of the factors contributing to Australia's declining fertility rate. Relationship education is one way that we can address this concern through assisting people in developing committed and stable relationships."

Mr Cameron said the Howard Government was investing $650,000 in a new relationship education initiative to give Australians better access to information on how to improve their relationships.

The awareness initiative includes:

National distribution of a free relationship education kit (to order call 1800 035 544). ●

Updated information on the Relate Internet site (www.relate.gov.au). ●

"The cost of failed relationships is huge in emotional, social and economic terms. In 2000, there were 49,900 divorces granted in Australia at an estimated cost to the community of $3 billion per year.

"This is why we want to encourage Australians to use relationship education throughout the course of their relationships as a form of early intervention and prevention.

"Strong, positive relationships provide an environment in which couples and children thrive, and society as a whole benefits, which is why the Howard Government provides over $3.6 million a year towards relationship education," Mr Cameron concluded.

Relationship education kit

The kit was developed as part of the pre-marriage education pilot, and after a favourable evaluation, the Marriage and Family Council recommended that it be distributed nationally.

The kit includes a magazine and video providing information, articles and quizzes to assist in strengthening family relationships.

Relationship education kits can be ordered by phoning - 1800 035 544.

Relate Internet Site - www.relate.gov.au

The site provides information on ways to strengthen and support family relationships, contact details for service providers and links to other sites.

Media Contact: Rachel Merton Electorate 02 9689 2833 Parliament House 02 6277 4821 Mobile 0417 418 460 E-mail: rachel.merton@facs.gov.au Web site: www.facs.gov.au

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